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Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II - Page 13

post #181 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post


I heard if we are located outside Korea we can also use Groovers by changing our timezone in the device to Korea?
And will Qobus services be available in Asia as well?

Hi,

 

I can't confirm the first question - the Qobuz app will only be available in Europe to begin with.  They plan to role their service out to America and then Asia/globally later on in the year.

 

Kind Regards

Steph

post #182 of 6523
Correct me if I am wrong but there is no true line out on both the AK100 and AK120 ii right?
post #183 of 6523

True if by line out you mean a jack that bypasses volume and current gain.

post #184 of 6523

Hey guys, I just got a press release that says:

 

"Astell&Kern will officially debut their second generation AK100 II and AK120 II high resolution portable audio players for the first time in the U.S. at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach on Friday, May 30th.

 

Announced at High End 2014 Munich, the new AK100 II and AK120 II are the latest players in the Astell&Kern high resolution portable player line.  Building upon the success of the 1st generation AK100 and AK120, the AK100 II and AK120 II add new features found in the flagship AK240 launched in 2014.  The new players will be available for demo at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach from Friday, May 30 – Sunday, June 1.

 

Astell&Kern will exhibit in two locations this year.  The full high resolution portable lineup will be presented in the Headphonium Ballroom at the Atrium Hotel during the show.

 

Astell&Kern will host press in a more intimate setting in the Sunset Lounge at the Atrium Hotel.  Here, Astell&Kern will display their entire portable player lineup, along with their line of home audio products.  Members of the press will be able to listen to the line in a quieter setting.  Astell&Kern partner, Final Audio Design, will also exhibit their line of headphones and In Ear Monitors in the Sunset Lounge."

 

I'll be there with UERMs and an AK120 (for comparison purposes) in tow.  In case anyone else is going to be in SoCal that weekend, here's some information about T.H.E. Headphonium at T.H.E. Show:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/716497/t-h-e-headphonium-2014-may-30th-2014-june-1st-2014-t-h-e-show-in-newport-2014


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #185 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Hey guys, I just got a press release that says:

I'll be there with UERMs and an AK120 (for comparison purposes) in tow.  In case anyone else is going to be in SoCal that weekend, here's some information about T.H.E. Headphonium at T.H.E. Show:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/716497/t-h-e-headphonium-2014-may-30th-2014-june-1st-2014-t-h-e-show-in-newport-2014

Yep I saw their FB post too, please give us your impression on AK120 vs AK100II and AK120II and also on AK100II vs AK120II vs AK240 smily_headphones1.gif
Please pay more attention to AK100II as well since quite a number of us might only be able to afford the 100 II smily_headphones1.gif

would like to know how big a difference the 100 II is with the 120II
Edited by Levanter - 5/20/14 at 8:26pm
post #186 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post

Yep I saw their FB post too, please give us your impression on AK120 vs AK100II and AK120II and also on AK100II vs AK120II vs AK240 smily_headphones1.gif
Please pay more attention to AK100II as well since quite a number of us might only be able to afford the 100 II smily_headphones1.gif

would like to know how big a difference the 100 II is with the 120II

 

Got it, will definitely try.  You know, I should really go visit their office sometime.  I've been wanting to go, but I've just been so busy recently with all the Headphonium stuff.  But yeah, I should take some music, cans and iems... and do a comparative database thing with every unit they have.


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #187 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

True if by line out you mean a jack that bypasses volume and current gain.

Thanks! smily_headphones1.gif I do wish A&K could add that feature as that would have been a huge plus...
post #188 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post

Yep I saw their FB post too, please give us your impression on AK120 vs AK100II and AK120II and also on AK100II vs AK120II vs AK240 smily_headphones1.gif

Please pay more attention to AK100II as well since quite a number of us might only be able to afford the 100 II smily_headphones1.gif


would like to know how big a difference the 100 II is with the 120II

Got it, will definitely try.  You know, I should really go visit their office sometime.  I've been wanting to go, but I've just been so busy recently with all the Headphonium stuff.  But yeah, I should take some music, cans and iems... and do a comparative database thing with every unit they have.

That would be very valuable for a lot of us if you could. I am in the same boat as Levanter considering the ak100 II as an inexpensive way to get close to the overpriced ak240's sound quality. It would require me to sell my x5 and dx90 and add cash so the increase in sound quality would need to be significant and close to the ak240 level. Not having heard the ak240, I am assuming ak240 SQ is great based on headfi reviews only and really don't know how much of an upgrade it would be from my x5/dx90 so any comparisons to them would be useful as well. Of particular interest is the sound quality increase going between balanced and SE. My NT6 pro CIEMs seem like they could benefit from the extra power and Other SQ benefits if the ak100 II balanced out is properly implemented. Finally, if there is a significant enough SQ increase with the ak120 II or ak240 over the ak100 II - I would need to reassess $/SQ performance to see if I shouldn't just go big, so a SQ delta perspective would be hugely appreciated.
post #189 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Got it, will definitely try.  You know, I should really go visit their office sometime.  I've been wanting to go, but I've just been so busy recently with all the Headphonium stuff.  But yeah, I should take some music, cans and iems... and do a comparative database thing with every unit they have.

Thanks! Very much anticipating for your review smily_headphones1.gif
Though May 30 seems so far away... And furthermore I heard the AK120II will be on sale 4 weeks from now and the AK100II few weeks after that. The waiting period is painful frown.gif
So near yet so far.
post #190 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post


Thanks! Very much anticipating for your review smily_headphones1.gif
Though May 30 seems so far away... And furthermore I heard the AK120II will be on sale 4 weeks from now and the AK100II few weeks after that. The waiting period is painful frown.gif
So near yet so far.


Which should only be a few weeks before the announcement of the Mark IIIs

post #191 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post

Yep I saw their FB post too, please give us your impression on AK120 vs AK100II and AK120II and also on AK100II vs AK120II vs AK240 smily_headphones1.gif

Please pay more attention to AK100II as well since quite a number of us might only be able to afford the 100 II smily_headphones1.gif


would like to know how big a difference the 100 II is with the 120II

Got it, will definitely try.  You know, I should really go visit their office sometime.  I've been wanting to go, but I've just been so busy recently with all the Headphonium stuff.  But yeah, I should take some music, cans and iems... and do a comparative database thing with every unit they have.

That would be very valuable for a lot of us if you could. I am in the same boat as Levanter considering the ak100 II as an inexpensive way to get close to the overpriced ak240's sound quality. It would require me to sell my x5 and dx90 and add cash so the increase in sound quality would need to be significant and close to the ak240 level. Not having heard the ak240, I am assuming ak240 SQ is great based on headfi reviews only and really don't know how much of an upgrade it would be from my x5/dx90 so any comparisons to them would be useful as well. Of particular interest is the sound quality increase going between balanced and SE. My NT6 pro CIEMs seem like they could benefit from the extra power and Other SQ benefits if the ak100 II balanced out is properly implemented. Finally, if there is a significant enough SQ increase with the ak120 II or ak240 over the ak100 II - I would need to reassess $/SQ performance to see if I shouldn't just go big, so a SQ delta perspective would be hugely appreciated.

 

Okay, if there are enough people interested in this, we should probably do it right.  Should we all pick the tracks and headphones to be used via committee?  Maybe I can get another Audio360 guy to go with me so that we have two sets of impressions?


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #192 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 

 

Okay, if there are enough people interested in this, we should probably do it right.  Should we all pick the tracks and headphones to be used via committee?  Maybe I can get another Audio360 guy to go with me so that we have two sets of impressions?


Would love to hear impressions on the 100mk2 v 120mk2 v DX90.  Most interested in use with IEM.  Beyond that I'm happy. 

post #193 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post

Yep I saw their FB post too, please give us your impression on AK120 vs AK100II and AK120II and also on AK100II vs AK120II vs AK240 smily_headphones1.gif

Please pay more attention to AK100II as well since quite a number of us might only be able to afford the 100 II smily_headphones1.gif


would like to know how big a difference the 100 II is with the 120II

Got it, will definitely try.  You know, I should really go visit their office sometime.  I've been wanting to go, but I've just been so busy recently with all the Headphonium stuff.  But yeah, I should take some music, cans and iems... and do a comparative database thing with every unit they have.

That would be very valuable for a lot of us if you could. I am in the same boat as Levanter considering the ak100 II as an inexpensive way to get close to the overpriced ak240's sound quality. It would require me to sell my x5 and dx90 and add cash so the increase in sound quality would need to be significant and close to the ak240 level. Not having heard the ak240, I am assuming ak240 SQ is great based on headfi reviews only and really don't know how much of an upgrade it would be from my x5/dx90 so any comparisons to them would be useful as well. Of particular interest is the sound quality increase going between balanced and SE. My NT6 pro CIEMs seem like they could benefit from the extra power and Other SQ benefits if the ak100 II balanced out is properly implemented. Finally, if there is a significant enough SQ increase with the ak120 II or ak240 over the ak100 II - I would need to reassess $/SQ performance to see if I shouldn't just go big, so a SQ delta perspective would be hugely appreciated.

 

Okay, if there are enough people interested in this, we should probably do it right.  Should we all pick the tracks and headphones to be used via committee?  Maybe I can get another Audio360 guy to go with me so that we have two sets of impressions?

That sounds great if it doesn't delay your review too much or stop it all together.

 

Personally, I use the Hidition NT6pros as an analytical signature and the LCD2s as a warmer colored signature to test the range. However, rather than choosing a specific HP, the most important aspect is that an assortment of TOTL CIEM/IEM/HP are used so that the HPs are not the limiting factor when comparing the DAPs. I have seen this happen too many times limiting the results. There is only so far my TF10s, Coppers, or HD595s can go before maxing out their performance. They even limit my X5 and DX90 SQ vs. my NT6pros and LCD2s. The HP assortment should range from warm to analytical to see how they pair. They should also be CIEM/IEM and full sized HPs to see how the DAPs work with the added load. I would also love to compare balanced to SE with each HP when possible.

 

Secondly, it would be important that you use TOTL CIEM/IEM/HP that you are familiar with so that you are listening to differences in the DAPs vs. the HPs. As for the songs, I would rather that you pick songs that you are familiar with from a range of genres so that you are listening to the SQ differences rather than getting used to the songs. The only requirement I would suggest for the music is that it is lossless or high res so that the file quality is not called into question. The majority of what I listen to is 16/44 so that is what I am mostly concerned with. There are no DSD albums that I care about.

 

Summary:

  1. HPs:
    1. Familiar TOTL HP/IEM/CIEM Assortment:
    2. Range of Signatures:
    3. Compare Balanced/SE when Possible:
  2. Music:
    1. Familiar Music from Range of Genres:
    2. 16/44 Lossless Files or Better:

 

Does this sound reasonable or are we limited by available HPs?

post #194 of 6523
I disagree with the enthusiasm but completely understand this is working for the brand so fair play (presumably) on the sales figures. High end in my view does not mean flooding the market and sticking a price tag on it with increasingly more zeroes on the end. How many McLaren road model releases do you see?

Is the strategy to provide something for everyone (with deep pockets) or to ensure a small but dedicated following keep buying?

I will demo the Chord Hugo when I can be bothered to visit my local dealer but probably not the new AKs. For the very reason it would emphasise the last one I tried was the original AK120 in Oct 2013 - which has already been replaced 20-times over.

Maybe it is a generational thing as I still own my first home separates from 20-years ago.
post #195 of 6523
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post

I disagree with the enthusiasm but completely understand this is working for the brand so fair play (presumably) on the sales figures. High end in my view does not mean flooding the market and sticking a price tag on it with increasingly more zeroes on the end. How many McLaren road model releases do you see?

Is the strategy to provide something for everyone (with deep pockets) or to ensure a small but dedicated following keep buying?

I will demo the Chord Hugo when I can be bothered to visit my local dealer but probably not the new AKs. For the very reason it would emphasise the last one I tried was the original AK120 in Oct 2013 - which has already been replaced 20-times over.

Maybe it is a generational thing as I still own my first home separates from 20-years ago.


I wonder if it isn't a case of a good sounding product and a maturing interface trying to find an economically viable market.  The sales volume on the 240 must have been limited by its high price.  The interface on the 100/120 was behind that of the 240.  Now perhaps the best of both worlds come together.  Pricing still seems high, however if units are trading at 20% discounts to list then they are more competitive with the 1k price point of other top players.  They still seem open to heavy competition from the likes of a DX90 type unit. 

 

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.  I don't really understand the strategy.  Perhaps the age of rapid prototyping and product rollout is upon us?  Not sure how this plays into brand loyalty and quality control?

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